Review: Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith

20344702Release Date: September 30th 2014

Publisher: Talos

Series: Tower Trilogy #1

Genres: YA Fantasy/ Science-Fiction/ Dystopia/ Post-Apocalyptic

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

My Rating: 5 Umbrellas

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon 

Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.


REVIEW This story was surprisingly a great read, in light of it’s many genres. You get it all within this book; magic, dystopia, science-fiction, paranormal, fantasy, etc… Lately, I’ve found myself engrossed in stories that has a slew of genres combined; and they were all fantastic reads.

Radiant: In this story it basically means a being with endless magic. Like, if you have an abundance of magic, you are used to power the upper class’s neighborhood or whatever. Radiants are highly sought after and used by the “high society” and are pretty much tortured for their magic. A unique take on the subject of magic, in my opinion. Xhea was born without magic and is cast out, like all of the other non-magic folk, to live in the lower city. She struggles everyday by scavenging for food and resources just to get by. She also has a gift- the gift to see the dead and communicate with them. Everything changes when she meets the ghost of Shai. Shai is a radiant and her status as being just that puts her in danger of being captured by her once upper class society, and being put inside a living body to fuel the Tower. With Shai’s ghost in danger, she and Xhea form a friendship and together they protect each other from enemies lurking in the shadows.

I can’t say anything more without giving too much away. I love how these two strong, female characters form a bond to protect themselves from antagonists that seek to use them for their own personal gains. There’s no openly cliche moments of teenage angst that overrides the plot. The characters are real and the world building is not overly done; considering all of the categories that make up this story line. I could see it playing out in my head as I was reading. It was like watching a three part crossover of The Walking Dead, Divergent, and The Mortal InstrumentsAnd what a great way to start off a YA series with friendship instead of romance. Although, I don’t know what’s in store for this series just yet. Not to be presumptuous, but I think this story will only get better as it flows. If you enjoy reading YA of any genre, I think that you will love this book. Highly recommend!

 reviewstars5of5

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3 thoughts on “Review: Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith

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